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Samuel Gover Winchester,


“Search the Scriptures."-John v. 39.




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Eastern District of Pennsylvania, to wit:

BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the seventeenth day of December, in the fifty-fifth year of the Independence of the United States of America, A. D. 1830, WILLIAM F. GEDDES, of the said district, has deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following, to wit:

"The People's Right Defended, being an examination of the Romish principle of withholding the Scriptures from the Laity; together with a discussion of some other points in the Romish controversy, by 'WICKLIFFE.' Search the Scriptures.' John v. 39. To which is appended a Discourse on Transubstantiation, by the Right Rev. John Tillotson, D. D., Lord Archbishop of Canterbury."

In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, intituled, "An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned.” And also to the Act, entitled, "An Act supplementary to an Act, entitled 'An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the Authors and Pro. prietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned,' and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching, historical and other prints.”

D. CALDWELL, Clerk of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. PREFACE.

The substance of this little volume was prepared without the most distant intention of presenting it to the public in its present form. It was originally published, a few months since, in numbers over the signature of “G.” in the “Southern Religious Telegraph,” published at Richmond, Va.

Solicitations from several sources have again brought these numbers before the public, revised and somewhat enlarged, to which is now added the 76 Introduction,and Tillotson's Sermon on Transubstantiation.

If this volume should be the humble means, under God, of inducing any under the influence of Romanism, to assert, and firmly to maintain, with a proper Christian spirit, their unalienable right to read and study for themselves the sacred scriptures; or of preventing any from increasing the hazard of their salvation in any way, the object and prayers of the Author will be fully answered

As an humble pioneer, and as an unworthy servant to the Bible, in those sections of our country where the people's right to read and search the scriptures, is neither wholly understood nor fully enjoyed, this little volume IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED TO THE 6 AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY," by

THE AUTHOR. Philadelphia, Dec. 17th, 1830.

CP Some of the authorities referred to in the following pages, are given as quoted by Chillingworth, Stillingfleet, Barrow, and others, whose learning and veracity stand unimpeached.


JUN 25 1301 1504a.


The importance of an acquaintance with the Romish Controversy is now beginning to be more justly estimated among

those who are set for the defence of the truth, than it has been for a long time. When we look at the late movements of the "Holy See” in reference to our beloved country; when we remember that the Tyrants of Europe, viewing Papacy as the most successful instrument that could be employed to crush the liberties and ensure the downfall of this happy people, would eagerly aid in the propagation of Popish principles throughout our land; when we look at the vigorous and systematic exertions now making by that church, from Maine to Florida, and from the Atlantic to the farthest western settlement; and when, in connection with this, we look at the state of society and the condition of the people in those countries where this church is established, or has a superior influence; the importance of a correct and intimate acquaintance with Romish principles and Popish policy, rises in magnitude equalled only by the preciousness of civil and religious liberty, and the salvation of immortal souls. 'I could not present this subject in a more striking light than by quoting the following extract from a review of Blanco White's Letters on Catholicism, by the Rev. Ashbel GREEN, D.D. LL.D. in his able "Advocatefor Novem. ber, 1826 :

“For more than a century past, (says Dr. Green,) the controversy between Papists and Protestants has been


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